What is Domain Privacy Protection & Do you need it?
One of the first options you’ll see when you register a new domain is domain privacy protection.
But what is domain privacy protection and is it worth it?
The cost of privacy protections is fairly low (and with some domains comes free), spending additional money when registering your domain is not something you want to do if you don’t need to spend it. So we have put together the following information to help you understand domain privacy and determine if you need it or not.
What is domain privacy protection?
Simply put, Domain privacy protection (sometimes referred to as WHOIS protection) is a dd-on to your domain registration in which your name, and contact information is kept private.
Everytime someone registers a domain, your domain is recorded with ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers) who record this information in a WHOIS Directory. This is to ensure if a website does anything against the law, there is a way to track down the domain owner.
This means that every person who owns a website faces the possibility that your personal information such as your name, physical address, phone number, and email address is available via a WHOIS search.
For anyone who does not feel comfortable with this, domain privacy protection provides the ability to have your domain registrar submit their information in place of yours on the domain registration. It keeps your registration in line with requirements from ICANN, without exposing any of your personal information to the world.
It is important to note some domain names do not allow domain registration – these are typically country specific domain name types where you are required to have a business registration (such as an ABN), to register this type of domain.
Is Domain Privacy Worth it?
Each website owner needs to decide for themselves if they wish to include domain privacy protection to their domain or not. For many people, it is well worth the cost for a few compelling reasons:
- Strangers cannot access your physical address.
People on the internet are not always harmless. Usually trolls stay hidden behind a screen, however, they don’t always stay there. If you do not have domain protection, your physical address is published publicly and anyone who finds your website, could find you in person.
This is especially important for website owners where you do not have a physical business location and operate out of your home.
For businesses that can use a company office address, the risk is much smaller, especially if this address is tied to your business in other locations on the web.
- Domain privacy means less spam.
We all get pestered these days by calls from unidentified numbers presenting scams or pretending to be from a company you may or may not deal with. These are highly frustrating and often a waste of time. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent these calls, as these scammers just call all number combinations, regardless of whether or not you are on registers like the “Do Not Call” register.
But what about your email address? Emails offering you items you would never dream of buying, or sending your pornographic or other material you may consider offensive.
These days, SPAM email is an unfortunate part of life, but there are ways to avoid it. There are several methods to avoid SPAM emails, one is to purchase Email Protection, another is by including domain privacy when you register your domain as this prevents your email address being listed in WHOIS directories, thereby making your email address a smaller target for spammers.
Domain privacy protection will not totally prevent SPAM in your email, especially if your email address is listed on your website, but it will help ensure you do not get as much of it.
- Domain privacy prevents your information falling into the wrong hands (IE scammers)
Scam calls and emails are mostly just annoying, however, having your contact information wildly available gives scammers an easy way to contact you.
However, this is the not the only concern. Scammers seek to get as much information on a person as possible. The more they know about you, the more convincing they can make their spiel.
The WHOIS directory does not just provide contact information, it also includes information such as who your domain registrar is, when your domain is due for renewal. A savvy scammer could in turn use this information to pose as your domain registrar to get you to pay a renewal fee to them instead of your domain registrar.
Domain privacy is the best method to fall victim to scams like this.
- Domain privacy hides your information from competitors
If you have or are about to start a business, competitor research is a typical part of the initial set up process. By including your information in the WHOIS directory makes getting information about your business much easier for competitors.
When you have numerous domains, the WHOIS directory also provides a easy way for people to make the connection between your domains. If you would prefer to keep your brands separate in the eyes of competitors and consumers, domain privacy protection is one way to do this.
- It’s cheap (if not free)
If domain privacy protection cost hundreds of dollars, it would not seem these benefits would make it worth the additional cost, however, domain privacy protection is relatively cheap, and with some domains, free.
This small yearly fee can keep yourself and your brand safer while also saving yourself time wading through unnecessary contact attempts by scammers or spammers via either your business phone or email. The typical cost for a years protection is less than you would spend on a typical night out to a restaurant!
Domain Privacy Protection is Worth it.
Weighing up all the above, even if you are on a tight budget when it comes to registering your domain name, Black Cat Hosting always recommends domain privacy protection. The time it may save you in spam calls and emails, or the potential losses due to your customers falling victims to scammers pretending to be from your business – the small fee (if applicable) is worth it.
It is very easy to add domain privacy protection with Black Cat Hosting. All you need to do is add your preferred domain to your cart, then check the box for Domain Privacy Protection:
If you have any queries about Domain Privacy Protection after reading this blog, please contact us.